RIP to the Chrysler 300 series, including the 300C HEMI-powered luxury performance sport sedan, because there’s a limited market these days for a full-size four-door with a giant 485hp 6.4L V8 engine and a throaty roar.
The 70-year run for the Chrysler 300 series is one of the longest for any model in automotive history, first introduced in 1955, when Detroit let the world with design, luxury and power.
Ironically – and sadly – the last HEMI-powered 2023 Chrysler 300C rolled off the assembly line in Ontario, Canada, not in Detroit, where muscle cars like the 300C HEMI were invented.
Other 300 models will end production by the end of 2023.
2023 Chrysler 300C HEMI Features
Additional performance features of the last-of-its-kind 2023 Chrysler 300C HEMI include red four-piston Brembo brakes, a 3.09 limited slip differential, active damping suspension and black, rounded exhaust tips that accent an active exhaust system and deliver a muscular, throaty sound.
A new version of the tri-color 300C badge dresses up the exterior on the grille and rear deck lid.
The exterior carries black chrome accents on the grille and lower fascia, plus black headlamp and taillamp bezels. Inside, black Laguna leather front seats are embossed with the new 300C logo. And that humongous HEMI engine.
Unfortunately, if you want one – you can’t get one.
According to Stellantis, the company which now owns Chrysler and its brands Jeep, Ram and Dodge, reservations for the special-edition 2023 Chrysler 300C were sold out quickly after it was announced. There’s only a limited-production run of 2,000 units offered in the U.S. and just 200 available in Canada, which means there are 2,200 diehard fans out there.
The 6.4L HEMI-powered 2023 Chrysler 300C, first announced at the 2022 North American International Auto Show in NYC, pays tribute to the nearly 70-year legacy of the Chrysler 300, as well as the Chrysler 300C’s crucial role in the 300 lineup as one of the seminal muscle cars in history.
First introduced in 1955 and relaunched in 2005, the Chrysler 300 has represented iconic American luxury and performance for decades. Back in 1955, the company also was producing Plymouth and DeSoto models, which also are gone now.
The Chrysler 300C arrived in 1957, powered by a standard-equipment 392-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower HEMI engine. There also have been other 300 models, with other less powerful engines.
The re-introduction of the Chrysler 300 in 2005 also featured the rebirth of the 300C model and marked the return of the HEMI engine to the Chrysler brand after 50 years, in the form of a 5.7-liter, 340 horsepower HEMI.
The 2011 Chrysler 300C upped output to 363 horsepower, and the 2023 Chrysler 300C — returning to the 300 lineup after a two-year hiatus,
It honors the powerful legacy of its forbears by delivering 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, a quarter-mile mark of 12.4 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
The re-introduction of the Chrysler 300 was in 2005 – when Chrysler was owned by Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, and the joint company was known as DaimlerChrysler.
That “marriage” lasted until 2007, when the company was sold to a Wall St. management company. That lasted two years, until 2009, when the company was dangerously close to shutting down, filed for bankruptcy, and bailed out by the US government.
Then, Chrysler was bought by Italy’s Fiat, which renamed the company FCA, for Fiat-Chrysler, which then changed its name to Stellantis.
But I digress.
The 2005 re-launch also featured the rebirth of the 300C model and marked the return of the HEMI engine to the Chrysler brand after 50 years, in the form of a 5.7-liter, 340 horsepower HEMI.
- In 1955, the Chrysler 300 is introduced. The hardtop contains a 300-horsepower HEMI V-8 with solid valve lifters and dual four-barrel carburetors, the most powerful full-size car in the world
- The new Chrysler 300 dominates NASCAR
- 1957 Chrysler brand standard-bearer, the 300C, is equipped with a standard 392-cubic-inch, 375-horsepower HEMI
- Chrysler 300D sets a Bonneville land speed record in 1958 at 156.387 mph
- Chrysler 300E arrives in 1959
- Chrysler 300F, 300G and 300H debut in 1960, 1961 and 1962, respectively
- Chrysler brand continues to produce “style and speed” with the 300J
- 300K debuts in 1964
- Chrysler issues last of its 300 letter series cars, the 300L, in 1965; production of the non-letter series 300S continues
- 300 nameplate returns to the Chrysler lineup in 1999 with introduction of the 300M, which is named MotorTrend’s Car of the Year in 1999
- Introduction of 2005 Chrysler 300 series marks a return to rear-wheel drive and includes the 5.7-liter HEMI-powered 300C model with 340 horsepower; new 300 is named Car of the Year by MotorTrend
- Adding even more performance, 425-horsepower Chrysler 300C SRT8 features a 6.1-liter HEMI engine and is capable of 0 to 60 mph times in the low five-second range
- Additional 300 models within the 2005 to 2010 model-year span include all-wheel-drive versions, the “blacked out” 300S, the 300C and 300C SRT8 Touring models (outside of North America)
- 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT features a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 and delivers 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque
- Chrysler debuts the new Chrysler 300 in 2015, taking the nameplate’s bold style and sophistication to new levels
- 2023 Chrysler 300C, powered by the 485-horsepower 6.4L HEMI engine, pays tribute to the Chrysler 300 and the end of an era — Chrysler 300 production will end following the 2023 model year
- Final HEMI-powered Chrysler 300C rolls of the production line at Brampton Assembly Plant on December 8, 2023
The Chrysler brand was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler, who also built the famous Chrysler Building in my hometown New York City. The Chrysler brand prides itself on distinctive designs, craftsmanship and advanced innovation, and is building to the future with the brand’s first battery-electric vehicle in 2025 and an all-electric portfolio in 2028.
Chrysler invented the minivan segment, and its Pacifica model continues to lead the segment, including with a Plug-in Hybrid model achieving 82 MPGe in electric-only mode, an all-electric range of 32 miles and a total range of 520 miles.
Find out more about Chrysler and its sister brands, including Alfa Romeo and Fiat, at www.stellantis.com.
All photos courtesy Stellantis
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA) and the North American Snowsports Journalists Assn. (NASJA).
Contact me at email@example.com.
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